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Why Christianity is a Threat

With the amount of opposition aimed at individual Christians across the globe, it seems that Christianity must be viewed as a “threat” to certain belief systems. And the hostility against that “threat” is increasing, according to D. A. Carson:

“The last century and a half have seen more converts, and more martyrs, than the first eighteen centuries combined.” (D. A. Carson, For the Love of God, Vol. 1 Jan 10 entry)

Let that soak in.

Don’t miss the significance of martyrdom and in particular the increase of martyrdom.

Today we are witnessing the slaughter of Christians by Boko Haram, who is seeking to establish sharia, or Islamic law. According to a July 29 report by the advocacy group, Jubilee Campaign, the terrorist group has killed at least 4,239 Christians, moderate Muslims, government officials and civilians in attacks targeting religious communities in northern Nigeria this year. Hundreds of thousands have been driven from their homes.

In July of this year, the Islamic terrorist organization, ISIS, eradicated virtually every trace of Christianity from Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, according to Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom.

Why is this? Why are Christians harassed, tortured, and executed?

Why are Christians hated with such vehemence?  

Why, from its earliest conception, would Christianity face persecution?

Jesus told us this would happen, so we shouldn’t let it take us by surprise:

“You will be hated by all because of My name . . .” Matthew 10:22

All four gospels reiterate this same warning. You will be HATED because of your association with Me, because of your allegiance to Me, because of the side you stand on in this spiritual battle—for that expect hatred.

Hostility toward Christians comes from an expected source. Jesus told us that the thief’s mode of operation is to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10). We know the thief He was referring to. Not a physical enemy but one who has stood in opposition to God’s plan and His children since before the garden. That’s why he opposes us—because he is God’s enemy.

We are in a battle with the spiritual forces of evil . . . so conflict and hatred toward us should really come as no surprise. 

Christian hostility is really a validation of Scripture. But what I want to focus on today, what I really want us to sit up and take notice of, is the fact that:

Hostility against Christianity is a validation of Christianity’s threat to the kingdom of darkness and this battle verifies God’s reality.

I mean think about it for a minute . . .

Does it even make sense that world powers, world rulers, dictators, and oppressive religions, would see Christianity as some kind of threat? I mean, they act like “Christianophobes” . . . like they are afraid of the power that Christianity might wield if let loose, so they see it as something to squash.

Christianity a threat?

That little batch of fisherman and faithful but beautifully fierce women—a threat?

A young schoolgirl sharing Christ—a threat?

Simple prayers lifted before sporting events—a threat?

Small groups meeting in homes to read Scripture and pray together—a threat?

Yes, a threat. A very real threat.

Christians are a threat because this God they serve is living and powerful and His enemy knows that He is no tame lion.

To the uninformed casual observer it seems irrational that a Roman emperor would see Christianity as a threat to his empire—but he did.

Christianity is a threat to the kingdom of darkness because it is a visible testimony, a witness really, to the reality of the God of Scripture. It is a threat for many other reasons (perhaps we’ll revisit that another day) but one thing Christianity threatens to do, and one day what it will fully accomplish, is to expose the ruler of darkness for the fraud he is.

And so he makes war with the children of God (Revelation 12:17).

But in demonstrating his hostility to God’s own possession (Christians), doesn’t he validate the very existence of the God whom he’s trying to convince the world as being non-existent or irrelevant?

Just a thought . . .

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

6 Comments

  • Suada

    Bearing in mind that over one million civilians have been killed in Iraq since the US waged a war in Iraq, I find a little bit hypocritical to see only the Christian victims and show compassion for them, while ignoring all the Muslim victims. In Bosnia there was a genocide of Muslim people done by Christians, in Myanmar there is ongoing genocide of Muslims done by Buddhists. Islamophobia is a far greater issue nowadays than Christianophobia and Christians be them religious or not, caused by far more Muslim deaths than vica versa. This summer over 1000 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, most of them women and children, all of them under the sponsorship of the USA. Either one acknowledges all victims, or one runs the risk of being biased and unfair. I wish American people, especially the Christians would do more to critize the genocide in Gaza.

  • Justin Schalow

    Hello Mrs. Wagner,

    What ISIS is doing to our brothers and sisters in Christ is heartbreaking. but I agree that it is fulfillment of scripture. The more I grow in Christ the more I can see Him at work all around the world to fulfill His purposes. Does this mean it will be pretty? No! As you eluded to, we are in an all out spiritual battle and if we are not suiting up in the full armor of God daily, we are engaging half-heartedly and selling the power of the gospel short in our own lives. When Christ called each of us, He called us to live dangerously, not comfortably. Just as we are known by our Father who is in Heaven, the forces of evil should know who we are as well.

    Failing to engage the enemy whole-heartedly is clearly observed by Luke, in Acts “But the evil spirit answered them, Jesus I Know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” (Acts 19:15) I can’t imagine a bigger slap in the face as these men attempted to exorcise this demon out of its human host. See, the problem was this: they had put all of their faith in the message of Paul, rather than understanding that this was the message of Christ Himself, merely using Paul as an agent of delivery. The story ends with these men being overpowered and running away “Naked and wounded” (Acts 19:16). I want Satan to know who I am and I want him to know that it is my great privilege to oppose him at every turn and put my own flesh to death daily. I want all of hell to tremble at the potential danger I pose to the forces of evil, through the life transforming message of my friend and Savior, Jesus Christ!

    “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)

    My family and I fervently pray for those who have sacrificed everything for the gospel, even to die a martyrs death. May our hearts continue to be broken for those who don’t know Jesus, and may we continue to live dangerously to reach those who would not otherwise hear and stop worrying about the perfect little bubble that we find so cozy.

    Kim, as always thank you for your insight. As I am sure you will agree, Christ is looking for soldiers who are prepared to do battle against sin and flesh, not cheerleaders standing on the sidelines watching the battle ensue.

    What a Savior!

    Justin Schalow

  • Justin Schalow

    The loss of human life is tragic, Christian or not, period.

    It is important to note first that the term “Christian” refers to those who have wholly surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ, and commit to live a life of love in an attempt to mirror the life led by Christ. This does not inherently include everyone that lives in a certain nation, or even everyone that participates in religious activities. Jesus himself stated the following concerning those who will truly find the path to righteousness: “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:14) With this said, the bible teaches that human life is valuable to God and He has a desire to know each one of us personally, that we may conform our lives to His will and act as His co-regents here on earth, making him known and sharing the message of Jesus Christ with all peoples.

    You made the statement in your post that Christians have caused far more deaths than Islam, and I wanted to make this point clear to you. Any “Christian” will tell you that though we have many Godly men and women serving in our military it is hardly fair to identify all Americans as “Christian”. This would be equivalent to identifying those who act radically in the Muslim faith as true Muslims. Tragically it is typical for Americans to cast judgment on all Muslims because of 9/11 and the Iraq war. However, it is my understanding that the Quran teaches peace and those who have acted radically to harm others are contradicting their own faith. This is also true of Christians who act violently against other people, disregarding what is taught in the Christian bible.

    Before I came into relationship with Jesus I was a soldier for several years, and on one occasion participating in the Iraq war. It was my experience that the Iraq people classified all Americans as Christians simply because we lived in a “Christian nation”. During my 16 month tour in Hit, Iraq, I saw little or nothing that honored God, with the exception of our battalion chaplain showing up occasionally to ensure that we were still sane enough to carry a weapon. This was not Christianity! Christian is a term bestowed upon those who love Jesus, embrace his message, and walk with him in daily devotion, loving and honoring others at all times. To act contrary to this would indicate that there has been no real heart change, thus, not a Christian, but a radical hater instead.

    The message of Christ is one of love. Because he was love, so much in fact that God sent him to walk among us leading a sinless and perfect life as our example. He taught and discipled with the ultimate goal of bearing our sins on the cross, being murdered in the worst way imaginable, so that we may be forgiven of our sins, have relationship with Him and be allowed to enter the presence of a Holy God who cannot tolerate sin. Take a moment to ponder on these scriptures taken from the Christian bible and ask yourself if you truly have assurance in your faith, whatever that may be.

    ————————————
    For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:23-24)

    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23)

    We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away (Isaiah 64:6)

    He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5)

    But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)

    This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5)

    Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (Romans 10: 9-10)

    ———————————

    To be forgiven and receive the gift of eternal life, you must agree with God regarding our sinful state. you must believe that Jesus was fully God, yet fully man. You must believe that Jesus sacrifice was the only sufficient sacrifice to atone for your sin. And finally, believe that Jesus physically rose from the dead, thereby proving he is capable of defeating both physical and spiritual death.

    I pray that this message is received well and is helpful in understanding the topic that is being discussed.

    Blessings!

    Justin Schalow

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Suada ~

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your concerns. The point of this post wasn’t to evaluate the scope of atrocities that have been committed in the name of various religions, but to remind us of the fact that we are engaged in a very real spiritual battle. The physical wars we are witnessing testify to the reality of that spiritual battle. This will continue until that day (which I long for) that is described in Revelation 19:11–16 as it describes Jesus’ return:

    “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

    And in Revelation 21:3–7 we get this glimpse of the future:

    And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

    And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.”

    Sauda, I hope you will read the comment left by Justin and consider what he shared. Jesus Christ came to rescue those held by chains in darkness and provides the way to salvation. He provides the way to a relationship with God through what He did for us on the cross.

    May you encounter Him and be set free to experience the true life He provides ~

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Thank you for your comment, Justin, and for sharing your heart and Scripture passages.

    Grateful ~